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ATE 252: Explorations in transportation innovation

Proposed course description

Modern transportation systems increasingly involve computerized mechanisms for control, analysis, and design. Drawing on the tools and methods of automotive technology, mechatronics, and data analytics, students explore transportation related problems through hands-on, project-based learning in each discipline. Students will draw on problem-solving frameworks used by each discipline to generate innovative ideas for presentation to industry partners. As a survey course, students from all academic disciplines at any stage of degree progression will acquire transferrable skills relevant to their own domain.

Proposed learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are grouped by each sub-discipline included in the course

Cross-cutting objectives

  1. Navigate the interconnectedness of technology related to transportation
  2. Collaborate on an interdisciplinary team to pursue a shared line of inquiry related to a transportation concern
  3. Analyze the ethical and environmental dimensions associated with technical transportation systems

Data analytics

  1. Identify and describe the sources and structure of data in the transportation domain (spatial data, longitudinal data, sensor output data, crash reporting data, crowd-sourced data)
  2. Generate data-driven inquiry questions that inform a broader line of inquiry related to a transportation concern (e.g. vehicle energy efficiency, road grid design, safety system analysis)
  3. Gather data from primary or secondary sources connected to the chosen pathway of inquiry
  4. Transform and map raw data into structures and formats appropriate for analysis
  5. Present data-backed conclusions to an audience and include a discussion of the limits of appropriate application of the findings

Automotive technology

  1. Hands-on repair and installation of electronic sensors (e.g. accelerometers, fuel consumption, etc.)


  1. Use of programmable logic controllers to automate responses to sensor data

Listed topics